Second Language Acquisition: Theory and Practice

ISA Seville Study Center

Course Description

USF Course Code: FLE 4316

Prerequisite: none; taught in English.

Students: ISA students

Hours of Instruction: 60

Semester Credits: 4 

I. Course Description:                                                           
This course explains in the most practical manner possible the educational theories in second language acquisition. Looking at the significant differences between different educational systems, students explore in greater depth the most important methodological approaches for applied linguistics and become familiar with a wide range of approaches, which in turn will be valuable in the internship that is integrated into this course. The course examines the process of teaching and learning by examining disciplines such as psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics. Throughout the internship, students will participate in various aspects of course management, including planning the corresponding unit, supporting the teacher in the classroom, and assisting with English language workshops.
Students who successfully complete the course and internship will receive a certificate issued by the school where the student participated in the internship.

II. Learning Outcomes: 
The participants will: 
-    Gain an understanding of differences between different educational systems.

-    Understand what constitutes linguistic competence and the relationship between language and other cognitive skills
-    Develop one's own philosophy of teaching and the learning process based on a sound knowledge of different theories
-    Become familiar with the teaching styles in other countries
-    Learn different techniques and teaching models.
Practical task:    
-    Prepare supporting material for the course(s) in which the student in interning

III. Course Contents (order of content may be modified):             
1. Educational systems                                            
1.1. Description and comparison of educational systems                    
1.2. Educational institutions and practices                            
1.3. Education and society.

2. Applied linguistics                                             
2.1. Introduction to Applied Linguistics                            
2.2. Psycholinguistics                                            
2.2.1. Language: humans and animals                            
2.2.2. Children and language                                               
2.2.3. Language gene                                                         
2.3. Sociolinguistics                                            
2.3.1. Language and society                                    
2.3.2. Language varieties                                
2.4. Language proficiency and assessment

3. Methods and approaches to language teaching                            
3.1. Introduction to language teaching                                    
3.2. Approaches and methods                                
3.3. Focusing on the learner: styles, strategies, and motivation                 
3.4  Common European frame of reference                            
3.5  Intercultural education   

IV. Bibliography: 
In addition to journal articles, students will receive a selection of material from the following sources:

Aitchison, Jean. The Articulate Mammal. London: Routledge, 1998.
Ball, Martin J., ed.  The Routledge Handbook of Sociolinguistics Around the World.  London: Routledge,     2009.
Davis, Alan.  An Introduction to Applied Linguistics.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press,  2007.
Lee, James and Bill Van Patten.  Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen.  Boston: McGraw-    Hill, 1995.
Lightbown Patsy, and Nina M. Spada.  How Languages are Learned. Oxford [England]: Oxford University     Press, 2006.
Richards, Jack C., and Theodore S. Rodgers. Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge:     Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Stewart, Vivien.  A World-Class Education: Learning from International Models of Excellence and     Innovation.  Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2012.

V.I. How to succeed in this course
To successfully complete this course, attendance is essential as enables the necessary participation. Both spontaneous and prepared interaction are categories used in the evaluation.

VI. Grading scale

La calificación final del curso utilizará la siguiente escala/ Final grades will be calculated according to the following scale:
94 - 100 A
90-93 A -
87 -89 B +
84 - 86 B
80 - 83 B -
77 - 79 C+
74 - 76 C 
70 - 73 C-
67 -69 D+
64 -66 D
60 -63 D-
0-59 F

VII. Course policies

VII.I. Attendance
Class attendance is mandatory and is taken every class day and reflected in the course attendance sheet. 
An 85% attendance rate is required for the successful completion of the course. Perfect attendance will be taken positively into account in the participation section. 
If a student exceeds this limit, 1 point will be taken off of the final grade (Spanish grade). Reaching a 20% of unexcused absences means that the transcript for this subject will show “not attended course”. 
Excused absences: Medical Certificates that will be considered only if issued by a physician (not notes from the family explaining the student’s absence). The certificates must include the exact dates for which a student should be excused for having missed classes. Courses cannot be audited, so attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class. 
Punctuality: Students are expected to arrive on time to class and to return directly to class after class breaks. Arriving 10 minutes late (or more) and/or early class departures are considered unexcused absences and will be taken into account as half an absence. 
Attending class is not only the presence in the classroom. The professor will encourage active participation in the course and it will be taken into account as part of the evaluation.  

Auditors: Courses cannot be taken as auditors, thus attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.

VII.II. Conduct in class
Students who actively participate in classroom activities and who maintain a professional and respectful attitude will be evaluated positively. Students must not eat or use laptops during the class (unless specifically authorized by the teacher).  

VII.III. Late work 
One half point will be taken off (from the learning activities grade) for homework that is submitted late repeatedly. Late assignments will be corrected but will not be graded. 
Missing a class does not release the student from completing the homework assigned or studying the topics covered in class that day.

VII.IV. Make-up Exams
If a student cannot be present for an examination for a valid reason (see V.II.) and approved by the professor and academic direction, a make-up exam will be given.

VII.V. Exam retention
After exams are graded, the teacher will review the examination with the class and collect all exams. The exams will be retained for one semester following the current one, and then they will be destroyed.

VII.VI. Academic Honesty
Students are expected to act in accordance with their university standards of conduct concerning plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

VII.VII. Special accommodations 
Students with special needs who require reasonable accommodations, special assistance or specific aid in this course (either for properly making-up classes, taking exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first days of the course.

Teaching staff is required to report any disclosures harassment or violence of any kind.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units

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